Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Beta Wolf “Just Before Morning” [EP]


Now on tour with Daughtry, the Los Angeles-based alternative rock band, Beta Wolf, is poised to hit the big time. Their new EP, “Just Before Morning” dropped July 31 (Congregation Records), the follow-up to their first international album, “Dark Days”, which was released exclusively in Japan through JVC/Victor Records in October 2011 and climbed to No. 51 on the international charts. Beta Wolf consists of lead vocalist and songwriter Grant Arnow, lead guitarist Sergio Ruelas, rhythm guitarist Devon Pangle, drummer Chester Lang, and bassist Rocko McIvor. "The album is a combination of a ballad, a heavy song, and some mid-tempo tracks," says Beta Wolf’s lead vocalist, Grant Arnow. "We wanted to make something that flowed consistently together. We focus on an album as a whole rather than on a single track.”

The five tracks on “Just Before Morning” were produced and mixed by Fred Archambault (Avenged Sevenfold).The first single is the title track, a stunning song co-written with Dan Wilson (Adele, Semisonic). “Just Before Morning” is a gorgeous pop rock song, with engaging verses and a chorus that sticks in your head instantly. Arnow is a vocalist that really knows how to wrap a melody around the lyrics, and the lofty falsetto at the end of the chorus is icing on the cake. Another thing I appreciate about Beta Wolf is their incorporation of tasty guitar solos, which has become a bit of a lost art these days. “Domino” is another terrific modern rocker that features vocals from each band member, mostly in the form of well-placed harmonies. Another standout is “Who’s Holding On To You”, a sizzling song with a danceable rhythm and unshakable melody. The closer is the most ferocious in the bunch, a ballsy never-say-die anthem called “Last Man Standing”.

All praise Beta Wolf – this band just gets it. Awesome vocals, thoughtful lyrics, masterful musicianship, and memorable songs. There isn’t a bad track among the five, and I think it’s a safe bet that “Just Before Morning” will be making my best of 2012 list.

Beta Wolf – Official site.

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